Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


A BUCKET OF BLOOD (1959). Director: Roger Corman.

Walter Paisley (Dick Miller) is a weird if likable little busboy in the Yellow Door cafe who tries to take up sculpting. When he accidentally kills his landlady's cat, he covers it in clay and offers it up as his first work of art -- and garners praise. Before long he's turning up with full-size sculptures of people -- unfortunately deceased. This House of Wax variation is very similar to Corman's The Little Shop of Horrors, which he made a year later, except that Paisley definitely becomes a murderer whereas Seymour of Little Shop does not. The title refers to the gruesome scene when Walter hides the dead body of a cop (Burt Convy) up near the ceiling and his blood drips into a bucket [a buzz saw scene is even more gruesome]. This film offered a rare starring role for both Dick Miller and Barboura Morris [of The Wasp Woman and Sorority Girl] and both come through with flying colors. Jhean Burton also scores as hefty Naolia, as does Judy Bamber as bitchy Alice. Ed Nelson is also in the cast and the landlady is played by Myrtle Vail, who played Seymour's mother in Little Shop. Fred Katz' jazzy musical score adds to the film's strangeness. The finale is a little flat but the picture is an effective black comedy.

Verdict: Don't kick this bucket. ***.